Summer Holiday Activities With the Grandkids
It’s that time of year again – the sunny (we hope) summer holidays! Whether you’re helping with childcare for busy parents or simply having fun, it’s the ideal time to spend days with your grandchildren, enjoying each others’ company.
We wanted to help you plan the best 6 weeks together, so we’ve compiled some fun ideas for you and your grandkids. In case you’re still nervous about mixing with big crowds, we’ll focus on activities you can do in your own home and garden. We’ll talk through outdoor activities for when the sun does shine, and indoor activities for when our unpredictable British weather is less favourable.
Outside activities with kids
Build a tent fort
You may already have fond memories of doing this with your own children decades ago. All you need is a big sheet and then you hang it over your washing line, pinning it down in place.
For more elaborate forts, bring in some cushions and toys and they’ll happily spend the whole afternoon playing right there. Just be prepared to find a way to convince your grandchildren that their bedroom is a better place to sleep than staying in the tent fort overnight!
A teddy bear picnic
Who needs a dining table for lunch when the sun is shining? Ask them to bring along their favourite stuffed animals, then use a big blanket and sit in your garden with sandwiches, snacks and some juice boxes. Do you have any of your own childrens’ old bears in the attic you could bring along and tell the grandkids stories about their parents’ favourite teddy?
A tasty cookie recipe you could try is our Honey & Oat Cookies Recipe. Why not make it together beforehand? But more on baking soon…
Create a mini garden
Do you take pride in your garden? Would you like to pass the love of gardening onto the younger generation? If so, you could section off a small area for your grandchildren and spend some time together planning it out. Take a trip to a local garden centre and pick some pretty flowers or tasty veg to plant together and enjoy. The extra benefit of this is that it can be an ongoing activity to do together over the weeks ahead – tending and weeding their garden patch.
Gardening is a wonderful way of getting some exercise and fresh air. To find out more about the health benefits, you can read our article: The Wellbeing Benefits of Gardening.
It seems simple, but there are endless hours of fun to be had with bubbles. There are the well-known small bubbles that kids will chase around the garden or the giant bubbles they make using a special wand (you can pick one up at a local bargain shop or order online). Alternatively, you could make a bubble snake – you can find a how-to guide here.
Indoor activities for kids
It doesn’t matter how many years pass, being read to will always be something that children adore. For the younger children, find some lovely picture books like The Hungry Caterpillar, Alfie’s New Shoes or Where the Wild Things Are, for the older children, bring out some classic Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton or C.S Lewis and just sit together, bringing a whole world of wonder to your living room.
You can be certain that in a few short years, these children will be grown up and reading the very same books to the next generation.
There are lots of science experiments you can carry out in your own kitchen. With minimal prep time, you can bring the excitement of the scientific world to the curious minds of your grandchildren. Whether it’s playing with the unusual texture of cornflour or having fun with food colouring by ‘water walking’, there’s plenty of fun to be had together.
For some great at-home science ideas that are kid-friendly, you can read the Good Housekeeping guide.
Indoor scavenger hunt
This one takes a little more preparation, but on the morning before your grandchildren arrive, write out a list of items for them to find around your home. You could include items like: a blue top, a makeup brush, a fork, a book beginning with the letter T, a family picture etc.
If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could also write out clues for each item, for example for a toothbrush it could be: “the tooth fairy wants you to use this every morning and night”.
Carry a little bag or basket around with you so that they can collect the items as they go around the house. Remember, the tidying up can be done later – the memories of fun last for years!
Whilst the age of your grandchildren will dictate the complexity of the cooking you attempt, it’s still a wonderful activity to do together and can keep you all busy for hours! Why not make the food for your picnic later that day?
If it’s raining outside, you can move your teddy bear’s picnic into your living room instead. Lay out a blanket and sit together to eat the tasty treats you’ve just made – even better, there will be no visits from ants!
A recipe that is always popular and easy to make, no matter the age of your grandkids is:
Rice Crispy Cake Bars
Makes: 16 squares
120g popped rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
75g bag mini pink and white marshmallows
225g milk chocolate
- Grease a square tin and line it with baking paper
- Use a large pan over a low heat to melt the butter, marshmallows and 75g chocolate (chopped into pieces). Stir often until you get a smooth mixture and no lumps.
- Stir in all the rice cereal and mix until it’s fully coated – don’t use too much force as the rice cereal can be crushed.
- Transfer into your lined tin and press down with the back of a spoon so that the top is smooth.
- Melt the remaining 150g chocolate by breaking it up into a heatproof bowl and placing it over the top of a small saucepan with boiling water inside. Stir the chocolate occasionally until smooth and then remove from the heat.
- Pour over the top of the popped rice mixture and spread out evenly.
- Put the tin into the fridge and allow it to set completely. If you want to speed things along, you could put it in the freezer, but keep checking on it so that it doesn’t freeze completely!
- Cut into 16 pieces and enjoy at your teddy bear’s picnic.